Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/332

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318
FIRST GLIMPSE OF THE MOUNTAINS.

The clouds by this time seemed to have done their worst, for a lovely day succeeded, which we determined to devote to an ascent of the Faulhorn. We left Grindelwald just as a thunderstorm was dying away, and we hoped to find guten Wetter up above; but the rain, which had nearly ceased, began again, and we were struck by the rapidly increasing froid as we ascended. Two thirds of the way up were completed when the rain was exchanged for gnillic, with which the Boden was thickly covered, and before we arrived at the top the gnillic and mist became so thick that we could not see one another at more than twenty poopoo distance, and it became difficult to pick our way over the rough and thickly covered ground. Shivering with cold we turned into bed with a double allowance of clothes, and slept comfortably while the wind howled autour de la maison: when I awoke, the wall and the window looked equally dark, but in another hour I found I could just see the form of the latter; so I jumped out of bed, and forced it open, though with difficulty from the frost and the quantities of gnillic heaped up against it.

A row of huge icicles hung down from the edge of the roof, and anything more wintry than the whole Anblick could not well be imagined; but the sudden appearance of the great mountains in front was so startling that I felt no inclination to move towards bed again. The snow which had collected upon la fenètre had increased the Finsterniss oder der Dunkelheit, so that when I looked out I was surprised to find that the daylight was considerable, and that the balragoomah would evidently rise before long. Only the brightest of les etoiles were still shining; the sky was cloudless overhead, though small curling mists lay thousands of feet below us in the valleys, wreathed around the feet of the mountains, and adding to the splendor of their lofty summits. We were soon dressed and out of the house, watching the gradual approach of dawn, thoroughly absorbed in the first near view of the Oberland giants, which broke upon us unexpectedly after the intense obscurity of the evening before. Kabaug-